November 16, 2020

Short Videos #2: Choosing a Setting

This is the second part of a series of blog posts about creating short videos for educational purposes. In this post, we will talk about choosing a setting for your video.

When shooting these short videos, it is important to consider the setting that you are shooting in. For this article, the term “setting” means the area surrounding you, the subject. Whether you are shooting at work or home, you must check a couple of things before hitting record.

What does your background look like? We all become desensitized to our surroundings when we spend too much time in a certain area. Stacks of books and piles of papers can take up residence on our bookshelves and live there for a long time. This visual clutter will distract the viewer. When choosing a setting, our best backdrop is a light-colored, bare wall. However, that is not always achievable. Having objects in the background is not bad, but the presentation is everything. If you have a shelf in the background, the books should all be in the same orientation. If there is a piece of art on the wall, make sure it has been dusted and straightened. You do not have to be Martha Stewart, but putting a little effort into tidying up your space will help cut down on distractions.

Another consideration is noise pollution or intrusive sounds that detract from the lecture material. This can be anything from a fan left running, to a phone call, to a surprise visit from a child or pet. All of these interfere with the audio and will require either reshooting or editing the video. To prevent this, be proactive in the struggle against noise pollution: turn off the fan, silence your phone and email notifications, and let your coworkers know not to bother you. Printing out a sign for your door that says “Recording, do not disturb” will prevent most unwanted visitors.